How to Photograph Your Child's First Birthday Like A Pro | Boulder Cake Smash

Photography Newsletter

October 20, 2015

Doesn’t this look like fun?! Cake smash sessions should be a part of every Monday morning in the studio!
Cake smash sessions are a great way to remember your child’s first birthday. They can be a lot of fun, a lot of mess, and a bit stressful if you don’t plan ahead.
Here are 5 tips to photograph your child’s first birthday like a pro:

  1. Make a plan. Just like anything else in life, without a plan, you will easily end up unprepared. Will you have a party? Who will be attending? Does your child know everyone well? (sometimes little ones are overwhelmed by large groups) Where will you hold the party? Will you have time to clean your home ahead of time or should you hire a cleaner the day before? (clutter shows up in photos, even hidden well in the background) If you’re doing a cake smash, where will you set it up? Outside? In the kitchen? Will your child be in a highchair? Will the cake fit on the tray? Some of the best cake smash photos happen because they are well thought out. The setting is perfect. The lighting is great. There’s room for everyone (if you’re having a party) to watch.
  2. Make a board. Visit Pinterest at least one month prior to your child’s birthday party/event for ideas (need some? Here’s a good 1st birthday board Pinterest board). Color coordinate for the best photos. Keep it simple and timeless. Going overboard on over-sized, mass-quantity party decor never works well in photos. Creating a Pinterest board can help you be sure everything works well together.
  3. Don’t forget about clothing. Not only will your little one need an outfit (and possibly a change of clothes if you’re doing a cake smash) but so will you! You’ll want to hand the camera over for at least a few photos, so be sure you look good too!
  4. What about the cake? If you’re planning to do a cake smash, you’ll want to make or order an extra cake for your guests (this often gets overlooked and eating a drooly cake may not be at the top of your guests to-do list for the weekend). Order your cake at least a week in advance. Looking for suggestions for Boulder-area bakers that make a great cake for smashing? Just email us and I’ll send you our list.
  5. Timing is everything. Plan around naps. No one, not even a one year old, wants to eat (or smash) a cake or smile for the camera when they’re overtired. Another tip for a cake smash … you may want to do a trial run. Especially if your little one isn’t used to sweets. Often times, baby’s will hesitate on getting too messy and diving right in. Others have no problem. A trial run with a cupcake a few days before will help you set expectations for yourself so there’s no pressure on the big day at the party.

Most importantly, remember to remember. Our children grow up way too fast. Put the camera down for a few minutes, take it all in, and remember to enjoy the little moments in between. These are the ones that make up our memories.
And … if all of this sounds too overwhelming, hire a professional photographer. Photographers are often willing to photograph your party or event and many photography studios offer cake smash sessions. Be sure to inquire a few months in advance, as the experienced photographers often book up fast. Be sure to ask about package inclusions, minimum orders, and any restrictions before signing a contract.
Enjoy! And a very happy birthday to your little one!!
ps – how cute is this little lady at her recent cake smash session in our Boulder studio?! We’ve had the pleasure of photographing her and her brother since they were just a few days old through their first birthdays as part of our Baby’s First Year photography series (contact us if you’re interested in learning more).
Denver Cake smash photographer, Jenni Maroney features in-studio baby girl 1st birthday cake smash session.Boulder Cake smash photographer, Jenni Maroney features in-studio baby girl 1st birthday cake smash session.

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